Thursday, July 12, 2007

Nostalgic Video Clip and Celebrity Encounters

Sometimes I get funny little surprises in my life. During my online wanderings recently I stumbled across this old video clip from the Muppet Show. I had never seen it before in my life. But I knew exactly what it was within five seconds of clicking on play. I recognized it because my wife was singing this song the first night I met her. “What’s so impressive about that?” you’re saying. “Songs are easy enough to recognize.” I’ll give you that. But this song doesn’t have any words. Well not real words. Anyway, If I had intentionally set out to find this clip I don’t know if I ever would have succeeded. But last night there it was, staring at me from my computer screen. I chuckled when I realized that I knew what it was. Then I went and showed it to my wife and she laughed too.

When it was over I clicked on one of the ‘similar clips’ that YouTube offered and found this hilarious muppet rendition of Danny Boy. If you haven’t already seen this, it will probably make you laugh too.

Celebrity Encounters

I recently found out about a new fantasy book that’s getting loads of enthusiastic reviews. I had a gift certificate to Amazon burning a hole in my pocket, so I bought it. This is a debut novel which means the author isn’t all that famous yet. So I really shouldn’t call this a celebrity encounter. Semi-celebrity encounter maybe? Sort-of-celebrity encounter? Anyway, I went to the website for the book and it had a “contact the author” page. So did. I sent him a message in which I… well, here’s the transcript:


I got your book in the mail last week along with The Children of Hurin. I haven't started on yours yet because I'm still working on the other one. But I did take a look at the map and I noticed something almost right away. That road is pretty much straight. So now I'm anxious to find out how such a road came to be.Of course that's in addition to all the anticipation I've built up after reading about a bazillion raving reviews. In fact, I have such high hopes for your book that I decided to read Children of Hurin first in hopes of being able to move on to something even better aftward- you know, save the best for last and all that.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to it.

Tim Young

To which he responded:


Heh. I'm glad you noticed the oddily (sic) of the road. You're actually the first one to comment on it.I hope I do a good job of following up after Tolkien....


I should have been content with that response. But instead I thought to myself, “Wow, a sort-of famous person just sent me an email. This is my big chance to become buddies with a sort-of famous person who might one day become a famous person. So I wrote him back:

I started your book last night. I loved the chapter where Chronicler gets robbed. Great stuff. Not that I enjoy reading about people getting robbed, of course. But I did enjoy watching how he dealt with it. I'm curious about the skraelings- eager to find out what the heck they are. (Animal, mineral or vegetable...? heh heh) No, I don't want you to tell me. Not here I mean.

I really appreciate the ways you introduce information about the world without it seeming like I'm getting spoon fed.

Can't wait to get home and read more.

Tim Young

That was two days ago. He hasn’t responded.

Ok, so I pretty much presented myself as one of those crazy gibbering fans you might see on a movie or the news or something. And I feel sort of sheepish about it. The real embarrassing thing though is that this isn’t the first time I’ve done something like this. (Which probably means I am one of those crazy gibbering fans.)

This will take some explaining. There’s a website called Snowdays where you can make your own snowflake and add a message. Other people can read your message and respond to it when they look at your snowflake. I found out about the site from Orson Scott Card’s blog. Immediately upon reading about it I went to the site and did a search for his name. Sure enough, there were about sixty little snowflakes with his name on them. So what did I do? I responded to one of his messages of course—what else? He had made one that looked like a naval contact mine. If you haven’t read his book Ender’s Game, some background information is in order. In the book the protagonists have a weapon that’s capable of destroying entire planets. It’s called a Molecular Disruption Device. Since the first two initials are MD they sometimes call it an M.D. Device, or the Dr. Device or the Little Doctor.

Anyway, here’s the link if you want to read the silly little conversation I had with him about his snowflake that looked like a mine. (If you decided to follow the link, be sure to wait until you see the flake that looks like a mine. It will have an arrow pointing to it that says "your friend's".)

If you like, you can also read the other conversation I had with him about swimming in cold water at scout camp.

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